CLEVELAND, OH - The Marble Institute of America (MIA) has launched a totally re-designed Web site, which incorporates more information for members, non-members and consumers, as well as more functionality to make the Web site easier to navigate.

The multi-page site - developed by Web design firm, Potomac Digitek, under the guidance of the MIA staff, particularly Jim Hieb, the association's director of special projects - even includes a member's forum. This new feature allows MIA members exclusive access to pose questions, express their thoughts, make suggestions, and offer ideas for other members of the association to view and contemplate.

“Our new Web site is a quantum leap over our past efforts,” said Gary Distelhorst, executive vice president of the 1,300-member group. “With the vast increase in services and products introduced by MIA in the past few years, we felt it was important to give this vital link in our communications channel a fresh new look.”

The new site includes a secure online publication ordering system that allows members and non-members a secure method of purchasing publications, videos, posters and other materials. A wide-range of seminars and other educational opportunities sponsored by MIA are also featured with information on how to register.

In addition, the site features the latest news from the association, membership data and natural stone educational material for consumers, and information as well as details on MIA's various awards programs. Viewers will also find a “press room” where they can read the latest news releases from the association and information on trade shows in which MIA is a sponsor and/or at which the association provides educational sessions.

The site includes a major segment on industry and professional resources, including a feature that allows visitors to easily locate a member anywhere in the world. It also can pinpoint MIA members on a geographic basis for consumers looking for qualified contractors to perform natural stone installation.

On the consumer side, the site makes liberal use of streaming videos, including three educational programs on the use of natural stone and the care and cleaning of stone installations. It also offers consumers stone descriptions and uses.

“We urge all members and non-members to avail themselves of this terrific communications tool,” said Distelhorst. “We will continually update and improve the site as our activities expand.”